Situated in the Sahara desert, the colossal art installation Desert Breath was created in 1995. Neighbouring the Red Sea in El Gouna Egypt, it stretches to a tremendous area of 100.000m2.

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Desert Breath | Photography courtesy of D.A.ST. Arteam

This spot was chosen for the artistic sequence as

“The immensity of the sea meets the immensity of the desert.”

– D.A.ST. Arteam

Desert Breath | Photography courtesy of D.A.ST. Arteam

The land art project was created by the D.A.ST. Arteam and consists of installation artist Danae Stratou, industrial designer and architect Alexandra Statou and architect Stella Konsantinidis.

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Desert Breath | Photography courtesy of D.A.ST. Arteam

The concept is grounded on a mutual motive to work in the desert, and the exploration of a continuum against the background of the largest African desert.

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Desert Breath | Photography courtesy of D.A.ST. Arteam

“In our mind’s eye the desert was a place where one experiences infinity. We were addressing the desert as a state of mind, a landscape of the mind.”

– D.A.ST. Arteam

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Desert Breath | Photography courtesy of D.A.ST. Arteam

The starting points of the installation were focused on the conical form and the natural composition of sand matter. The configuration is made up of the displacement of 8.000mof sand in order to conceive 173 positive and negative conical volumes.

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Desert Breath | Photography courtesy of D.A.ST. Arteam

These conical dimensions outline a double nexus that curve out from the focal point with a phase difference of 180o degrees in an equal direction of rotation; creating a hypnotic pattern. Placed in the centre is a reflective pool filled to the brim with water.

Desert Breath | Photography courtesy of D.A.ST. Arteam

Desert Breath | Photography courtesy of D.A.ST. Arteam

The silhouette can be viewed on two levels, one from a bird’s eye view as a visual image; and another on ground level walking along the helical pathway, an amplified atmospheric experience.

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Desert Breath | Photography courtesy of D.A.ST. Arteam

Frequently bewildering Google Earth users to this day, Desert Breath has been confused for an ancient monument or an alien landing in the Egyptian desert.

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Desert Breath | Photography courtesy of D.A.ST. Arteam

Not forgotten, Desert Breath remains distinguishable even 17 years after its completion in March 1997. Purposely built for this eventual dissolution, the land sculpture is slowly eroding back into the sands it was created from.

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Desert Breath | Photography courtesy of D.A.ST. Arteam

“Desert Breath still exists becoming through its slow disintegration, an instrument to measure the passage of time.”

– D.A.ST. Arteam

Desert Breath | Photography courtesy of D.A.ST. Arteam

Desert Breath | Photography courtesy of D.A.ST. Arteam

References
Available at http://www.danaestratou.com/site/portfolio/desert-breath/ [Accessed on 20/09/16]

Colossal (2014) Desert Breath: A Monumental Land Art Installation in the Sahara Desert [Online] Available at http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2014/02/desert-breath-a-monumental-land-art-installation-in-the-sahara-desert/ [Accessed on 20/09/16]

Daily Mail (2014) A landing strip for alien craft or an ancient monument? The mysterious giant spiral in the Egyptian desert baffling Google Earth users [Online] Available at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2567879/Mysterious-spiral-design-etched-Egyptian-desert-trick-eye-thinking-aliens-landed-giant-swirls-fact-work-art.html [Accessed on 20/09/16]

Atlad Obscura (2016) Desert Breath [Online] Available at http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/desert-breath [Accessed on 20/09/16]